GadgetSpeak Articles

GadgetSpeak has close to 5,000 product reviews and other articles. You can use this page to find others opinions on anything from mobile phones to computers to the latest kitchen appliance

 
This is a 24inch curved gaming monitor from AOC as the title might tell you. While I have other curved monitors including the first TV that was widely available in the UK they have all been substantially larger than the 24inches of this offering.
It is 53.5x32x1cm and the curve difference between the edge and the centre is 2cm. The stand is V shaped and is 43cm across at the front and 10cm across at the back it raises the panel by 6cm. There is a lot of back tilt (more than 20 degrees) and a little forward tilt. The panel can also move up to a maximum of 19cm above your desk. It weighs less than 4.5 kilos.
Making tasks easier is the role undertaken by Parallels collection of tools.
When the subject of the Parallels company is raised, my thoughts tend to concentrate on the company’s solution for running a copy of Windows on a Mac-based system.  However this is not the only product available from Parallels.  The company has also developed a Toolbox product which is available for either the Windows or Mac platform depending upon the user’s needs.  This collection of utility style tools is supposed to consist of 30+ items.
880184 Olympus PEN E PL9 16 MP Compact System Camer

Olympus Pen 9 : Olympus PEN E-PL9

This is an enthusiasts camera, quality in a small package, but still able to give excellent ‘auto’ images and if you know better then the various special scene and manual mode allow you to get that extra special image to say great.
The Olympus Olympus PEN E-PL9 measures 12x6.5x6cm when off the powered zoom can take the 14-42mm lens out to 9.5cm. It weighs 513grams with the supplied neck strap in situ. People who have fondled it say that’s heavy and my response is that is quality down to the dark blue leather that goes round the front and sides.
880192 PaintShop Pro 2019 ULTIMAT

An Ultimate Suite

From its humble beginnings, this next product is growing into a graphics suite.
Over the years, currently bubbling away at 28 and still counting, Corel’s Paint Shop Pro has undergone a number of make-overs since it was first released by Robert Veil as a file format changing utility available as a Shareware product.  Now firmly established as a member of the Corel family, Paint Shop Pro offers a range of graphics facilities and tools for enhancing images.
880182 HP ENVY 13 ad015na 1

HP Envy Laptop

It’s taken a while, 18 months in fact from change of agency to the first arrival of an HP notebook. Its thin its light and it has connectivity so what is not to like about this 13inch offering called very appropriately by the name of ENVY.
The HP Envy 13-ad015 laptop measures 30.5x21x1.5cm and weighs 1359 grams. It is matt silver grey in colour with four silver lines of two lengths that form a very clever HP logo. The left side has a USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket, USB ‘C’ port and micro SD card port. The front is clear the right side has USB ‘C’ port, USB port and charging port. Open the lid and the screen can go back to 135 degrees.
In a way a throwback to the past a mechanical timer which works solely by counting down from a set figure to zero and then ringing a bell to warn you, a simple process that should still enable you to extract things from the over without them burning.
It is circular at 9.5cm and slopes up from the front where it is 2cm up to 5.5cm at the back. It is made of stainless steel with the twist arm plastic so both are wipe clean. The clock is marked in five minute increments up to an hour with the areas between the numerals clearly shown by dashes so you could set seven minutes or forty eight minutes just as easily as five minutes or twenty five minutes.
Step into the Makoan world and embark on a rite of passage to become a legend.
According to Phoenix Online Publishing, “Every Game was a Story” and, in this case, the story concerned “A Rite from the Stars”.  Based on the concept of a “rite of passage” found within various tribal communities, this point and click adventure game is the debut offering from the Spanish developer Risin’ Goat.  Versions of this game are available for the PC, Mac and Linux platforms.  My review is based on the Windows PC product offering.
880181 Clip On Professional 22x Mobile Phone Zoom Len

Brando 22x Lens for SmartPhones

While modern SmartPhones can take excellent images and videos one thing that a decent DSLR camera often has is a good optical zoom, here is a kit that can give your SmartPhone the ability to get great zoom for your images.
I have tried this unit with success on three different Smart Phones all with single lenses, I do not think it would work on dual lens units. The complete kit comes in a fitted zip up case the 22x zoom lens which on close inspection is F1.8 250mm marked 4K 22x Telephoto Lens. It has adjustment at the camera end as well as at the lens end it weighs 150 grams without the supplied lens cap.
With a choice of five input streams, this next product belongs to Edifier’s family of speakers.
In the past I have looked at various Edifier speaker systems but this is the first opportunity I have had to check out the company’s take on soundbars with the S50DB model.  With dimensions of 112 x 12 x 10 cm (W x D x H), for this soundbar, Edifier has gone with a fairly standard design appearance of an elongated speaker unit that can either be wall-mounted or free-standing.  Keeping the soundbar company in this kit are a wall mount bracket, screws and rawl plugs, 3.
Being a diabetic I have to look after my feet, most socks tend to dig into my legs so socks with special tops are on my agenda. Here also socks for the airline traveller who – especially on long hall – need to be aware of deep vein thrombosis.
The company concerned was one of the few that pulled their finger out after the range of Christmas In July events that take my time during the recent hot summer weeks. Their socks have had several wearing’s since the event and although woollen socks in this weather may seem strange they do not tend to overheat the wearers feet. I found I had been sent two types of diabetic socks, first ‘Wool Diabetic’ that although for shoe size 11-13 fitted my size 10 feet fine.
Putting your digital photos to work can be achieved with this next product from MAGIX
As a result of the digital age take-over, the collection of captured image owned by users has grown substantially.  Taking up space on hard disk storage devices, these images are just crying out to be put to some useful service on our behalf  Offering to be helpful in this respect is MAGIX’s Photostory Deluxe software with the release of the product’s latest 2019 version of this slideshow creating product.
Most wireless earbuds still have a cord of some sort even if it’s just enough to link the two buds behind your neck. Here nothing more than the buds that fit in your ear. So the total weight is just an amazingly small 13 grams the pair. So as they say on the box ‘no strings attached’.
The no strings goes as far as charging as instead of attaching a cable to the buds they come with their special case and the USB lead attaches to the back of that so they are charged in a fitted case ideal for transporting them when not in your ears. As regular readers know I have a somewhat problematical existence with earbuds in that my ears swell and after less than an hour they start to become uncomfortable.
HTC has just announced, at a “media pre-briefing” its latest super-budget phone. Scheduled to be available late September / early October this 6 inch 18:9 FHD+ (1080 x 2160) phone will have a retail price of £299 which places it firmly on the middle ground between the premium products and the real budget phones.
Pack your bags with plenty of sun screen as you join a family on holiday.
With that strange object in the sky beating down plus the Met Office aggravating tourism chiefs by issuing an amber health warning and advising the public to stay indoors between 11.00 am and 3.0 pm rather than going out and about spending money it does seem appropriate to take a look at a game entitled Summer Adventure which is not to be confused with Summer Holiday.  This Summer Adventure game belongs to the Hidden Object genre.
880093 Acer Holo360 4K 360 Degree Camer

Acer Holo 360 degree camera

This camera is much the size of a mobile phone and like a great many mobile phones it runs on Android. While it has internal storage it can also accommodate a micro SD card and indeed initially slightly more puzzling it can also take a SIM card, this is however solely so you can send data that you capture while still out and about to various sites.
The Acer Holo 360 measures 11x5.5x1.3cm and weighs 141grams with the supplied wrist strap attached. The viewable screen is 6x4.5cm which gives the diagonal notional imperial measurement of 3 inches. Bootup is 15 seconds while shutdown is 3 seconds. Going around the outside has on/off on the right side with camera button below this, the base has micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone socket.
Offering to provide self-help with blood pressure monitoring is a device from Braun.
According to research conducted on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS), around 25% of the UK adult population suffer from high blood pressure often without them realising that they have the condition.  High blood pressure can occur as the result of smoking, poor diet and the lack of regular exercise.  I plead guilty to two of these.  The condition of high blood pressure has been known to increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and dementia.
880091 Fujifilm X Pro2 digital professional camer

FujiFilm X Pro-2

I see a good number of professional photographers at a range of events and while a lot of them have Canon offerings there are also Olympus and Fuji cameras. Here I get to try a recent mirrorless compact system camera that is very much in their professional range which really pushes my knowledge – or do I mean lack of knowledge – in this category of products.
While it is possible to attach a lens and focus on a subject with you taking the ‘easy’ way out and letting the camera make the choices it is designed for use for those whose knowledge knows as much as the camera so they get that ‘yes’ image. The FujiFilm X Pro-2 measures 14x8.5x11.5cm. The last figure with an 18>55mm lens fitted which can increase it to 15cm. It weighs 837grams.
880070 corel photomirage picture animation softwar

New from Corel : Corel PhotoMirage

Adding to its extensive portfolio of graphics products, Corel has introduced the world to its PhotoMirage offering
Designed to allow the user to bring photos to life with scroll-stopping animation, PhotoMirage software comes with the claim of being as “easy as 1-2-3” which certainly brought back memory of office software of old.  But back to the present day with PhotoMirage which is aimed at photographers, artists and digital marketers. It has to be admitted that PhotoMirage did not get off to the best of starts.
880066 BenQ GW2780 27 Inch FHD 1080p Eye Care LED Monito

BenQ GW2780

As you might get from the title this is a 27inch panel. Like most recent offerings it manages to take a minimal amount of desk space and also to supply an excellent image while at the same time looking after your eyes with flicker free 1920x1080 resolution.
The BenQ GW2780 measures 61x36.5x1.5cm, its stand is an inverted T with the top of the T being 31cm long and 9cm thick and the upstroke linking the stand to the support arm 7cm wide. It lifts the panel by 10cm from your desk. There is around 30% of back tilt and close to 10% of front tilt. With the stand attached it weighs just under 5kilos. It can be wall mounted should you wish and the weight without the stand is less than 4kilos. The viewable screen is 60.5x34.
880097 Alcatel 3V Spectrum Android Free Smartphon

Alcatel 3V smartphone

The Alcatel 3V 5099D is a 4G LTE smartphone with a 6 inch screen which is competitively priced and offers a range of features comparable to those of the premium brands.
Are you ready to undergo a test to see if you are suitable to join the Unavowed?
Whenever I encounter the words “Wadjet Eye” in connection with a game, I am immediately taken back to a time when a player was meant to use their imagination to embellish the more basic environment created by the development team.  In the case of the latest Wadjet Eye offering of Unavowed, this journey back also includes the appearance of a set-up file for the Window’s environment used by the game.
While for some a kitchen scale able to measure up to 15 kilos may seem overkill for others especially those using large copper pans will say at last. As the dimensions are bigger so to the great relief of those with less than perfect sight is the display.
The Salter Max digital kitchen scales measure 34x26x2.5cm and the weighs 1.365kilos. The scale can weigh from a single gram up to 15 kilos or 33 lbs. Most kitchen scales will measure amounts up to 3kilos or more recently 5kilos they are small in size and that - when not in use - is a plus but when larger bowls or pans are placed on the scale there are two main problems firstly things can weigh too much and it is also hard to read the display especially if a bowl or pan covers the display itself.
With a range of versions, MAGIX has released its latest music making software.
MAGIX, the popular provider of multimedia software, has just released a brand new version of its Music Maker product.  Originally making its initial appearance some 23 years ago, this latest version of the MAGIX loop-based music production software is available in five different packages including a free download.
879966 dell XPS 13 inch 2 in 1 laptrop table

Dell XPS 13 9365

This is neither large nor heavy so ideal to use when out and about. A black sandwich with silver grey slices, it is a Notebook and a Tablet running the latest version of Windows 10 V1803. Three sides of the screen have tiny edges the forth the bass is the less than usual place to find the webcam. There are other surprises like only USB ‘C’ ports.
The Dell XPS 13 "2-in-1" convertible laptop measures 30x19.5x1cm at the front and 1.5cm at the back it weighs 1212 grams. The diagonal imperial measurement is 13inches As this folds back on itself the rear is clear of any ports. The left side has USB ‘C’ and headset 3.5mm socket along with a button to show the current battery state in 20% increments. The front is also clear apart from an LED to show when the unit is on.
880029 Filofax eniTAB Small 360 Degree Tablet Holde

Tablet Support : Filofax eniTAB360

Leave your hands free for other tasks when using this Filofax kit.
Tablets (of the electronic rather then medical type), of whatever size and operating system, are generally advertised and offered for purchase as portable handheld devices.  But sometimes this categorisation does not always fit in with the needs of the user when specific occasions arise.
879967 Meeting Owl 360 Degree Video Conference Camer

Meeting Owl Conference Camera

A couple of days before the UK launch I was invited to a breakfast briefing in a swish Kensington hotel to see this conference room camera in action. It is designed for a meeting of between say five and ten people and also remote connections can connect to become part of the meeting. I emphasize part of the meeting as normal conference room cameras do not do this.
The "Meeting Owl" conference webcam measure 10cm across at the base and slightly less at the top of its 28cm height. Its camera is a range of cameras around the top under a 1cm dome hence the name ‘Owl’ as it sees all round without moving, whereas with normal conference cameras they take a viewpoint and if someone at the periphery of the view is speaking even if speakers pick up the remarks the camera view cannot change.
The Philips monitor 272B7QU is a high-end QHD 2560 x 1440 display that offers, in addition to high performance, good ergonomics and a built-in docking station.
Even as one unpacks it, the first thing that one notices about this monitor is its weight. At over 7kg, it is roughly twice the weight of many other 27 inch monitors. This is no doubt due, at least in part, to it being able to deliver up to 60W to external devices via its USB 3.1 ports. This 27inch screen, which forms part of the Philips “B” line is mounted on a spring-counterbalanced stand on a turntable base.
Returning to the land of Dwarves, some rebuilding work is required.
Having missed the original title of “Rune Stones Quest”, I can only guess at the ferocity of the battles and destruction caused as the Dwarves fought the evil sorcerer in this game.  Fortunately the follow up offering, appropriately entitled “Rune Stones Quest 2” gives you the opportunity to put right the damage caused to the Dwarves Kingdom in the first game.
879964 Thumbs Up OR RETHC Retro Handheld Consol

Retro Games Console

A small screen tiny buttons it looks so strange today but only not that many years ago it would have been the thing to have, over 150 games built in would have at that time been unheard of. However when you are old enough to remember these sort of basic offerings the one thing you certainly don’t miss – as a music lover – is the terrible music and sadly that is still here.
The console is 9.3x5.5x2cm and it weighs 72grams. The viewable screen is 3.5x2.8cm. Below the screen on the face of the unit are a five position joystick, to its right round buttons marked A and B and below this two bar buttons marked Reset and Start. Near the bottom on the left side is the speaker. On the left side a slider button for on/off and below this a volume control.
879910 GOJI GO Activity Tracke

Track your Activity : Goji Go Tracker

The Goji Go, as you might suspect from its title, is an Activity Tracker. Well-known for its production of computers, smartphones and audio equipment, Goji Electronics has opted for a basic, no frills approach with this particular Activity Tracker.
The Gogi Go is a wristband unit, which can be worn on either wrist depending upon the wearer’s choice, has dimensions of 19.2 x 52 x 12.2 mm and weighs 16.6g.  Attaching this wristband proved easier when somebody else was available to hep with the task.  The wristband features a couple of metal studs which need to be inserted into appropriate holes on the band.  Applying the necessary pressure, while holding the band in position, was not the easiest operation.
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